Fiction Friday: Book Review- Heartless by Marissa Meyer

HeartlessHeartless by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book broke my heart and I may never love another book again.
(Okay that last part is a lie but I swear I really am heartbroken). Cath dreams of opening her own bakery. It’s the only thing she wants in life until she meets the mysterious Jest. Soon Cath begins to imagine the possibility of a life with him. However Cath is a lady while Jest is only a fool. There is no way that Cath’s strict and controlling parents would accept him. In fact, Cath’s parents have already found her a husband- the King of Hearts- and they won’t accept no for an answer. While we all know how this book ends, the path to the end was so surprising and heartbreaking. I was in shock once I finished this book and all I could think of was “HOW???”
What I really enjoyed was how nonsensical this book was, much like the original Lewis Caroll work. I strongly suggest that readers brush up on “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Alice Through The Looking Glass” to get the full effect of the book. There are several characters and quotes from the original that appear in “Heartless” and it’s fun to see them again. This book fits in so perfectly with the world of Wonderland that it is almost as if this is a companion novel to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”.
This book was incredibly well-written and I really enjoyed seeing all of the characters from Wonderland. I also liked how things that made no sense in our world, appeared to be totally normal in this book.
This was an excellent book and I strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys fairytale retellings.

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Fiction Friday: My Five Favourite Retellings

I love love LOVE retellings. I don’t know why because how often can you read one story rewritten? (If you’re me then the answer is “very often”) Here are a few of my favourite retellings.

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1) The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: The Lunar Chronicles is a series of futuristic retellings of several fairytales. While I had my doubts about this series, I instantly fell in love once I started reading it.

2) A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas: This is a fae retelling of Beauty and The Beast and it’s impossible to put down.

3) The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: This is a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights. Honestly I’ve never read One Thousand and One Nights but this synopsis was too compelling to resist.

4) And I Darken by Kiersten White: This is a story based on Vlad Dracul…except in this version Vlad is a kickass female named Lada.

5) Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David D. Hammons: This book gave me all the feels. This is mainly about Alice going back to Wonderland but there are several other fairytale characters in this book.

Book Review: Rebel (Recoil #3) by Joanne Macgregor

Rebel (Recoil Trilogy #3)Rebel by Joanne Macgregor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was so thrilling! Unfortunately life got in my way so I didn’t start this book as soon as I wanted to. Not being able to instantly dive into this book upset me so I ended up reading the ending first (and then spoiled the entire book for myself). Aside from that very stupid mistake on my behalf, I absolutely loved this book. I was so thrilled to see Jinx and Quinn again. There is so much of character development in this book. I started off hating characters and wishing them dead (I can’t help it. Some of the characters were really hateful) but by the end of the book I really liked them. This was a super-fast read that was difficult to put down. Fans of dystopian fiction will love this book! The characters are incredible and so very clever! The writing is great and the plot is unique. This book blew my mind.

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My Summer Reading List: November TBR

I love summer. I especially love spending my summer reading. I’ve got some really good books to read this month and I can’t wait to start them!

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1) Bloodlines by Richelle Mead: This is a spin-off from Vampire Academy and I can’t wait to start reading it. I loved the characters from Vampire Academy and look forward to seeing them again.

2) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: I really liked the movie so I’m interested in seeing if John Green is really as good as everyone says.

3) Soundless by Richelle Mead: yeah I have a theme going on here.

4) The Unknown Journey by SK Sewmungal: I’m interested in reading this since its a firsthand account of bullying in South Africa but I’m kinda worried that it’s going to bring back really unpleasant memories for me.

 

What’s on your TBR for the month? Let me know below!

Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun Is Also a StarThe Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had really high hopes for this book since I absolutely loved “Everything Everything”. Nicola Yoon has incredible writing and I love that she writes in such a unique manner. In order to allow me to properly fangirl over this book, I’m going to state everything I disliked now and discuss the positives later. Firstly reading on the Kindle app was incredibly difficult as the characters’ viewpoints were all mixed up. Something was wrong with the formatting which made for several very confusing moments. I also don’t understand why the book is called “The Sun is Also a Star” since that’s a line only used once in the novel. Lastly I wished the ending was more complete. Like “Everything Everything”, the ending feels more like a beginning and I WANT TO KNOW MORE!
Now for the positives: I love love love LOVE this cover. It’s so pretty and colourful and honestly it’s the first thing that drew me to this book (the author was second).
“The Sun is Also a Star” tells the story of Natasha and Daniel who meet and fall in love on Natasha’s last day in America. Natasha and her family are being deported, a fact she doesn’t share with Daniel. Daniel is supposed to be on his way to an interview for Yale when he decides that Natasha is his future. Daniel and Natasha are complete opposites. He’s a dreamer while she’s practical and certainly doesn’t believe in love. And if their totally different personalities and Natasha leaving weren’t enough obstacles for their budding relationship, Natasha is Jamaican while Daniel is Korean. While this isn’t a problem for them, this might be a problem for their families.
What I really enjoyed about this book was the many different viewpoints. Usually I struggle to keep track of more than four characters but it was easy to follow everyone in this book. While this is a story primarily about Natasha and Daniel, there are scenes that show the lives that Natasha and Daniel impact on without even trying.
This book had a ending that I felt was really natural and I was like “aww this is beautiful”. The epilogue was what kicked me in the gut and left me speechless. This book was beautiful and really made an impact on me (so much so that when I went to sleep, it was all I could I think of even while asleep). I love Natasha’s character and I really enjoyed seeing everyone’s backstory. I wish the ending was a bit more complete though as I wasn’t ready to let go of these characters.

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Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Book Blogging

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1) The Book Blogging Community is Really Welcoming: It never fails to amaze me how supportive and friendly book bloggers are. They’re always ready to lend a helping hand.

2) How Time-Consuming It Is: You need to read a book, draft a review, edit a review, post a review and still ensure you’re publishing bookish content that isn’t only book reviews. Excuse me while I go take a nap. That sentence tired me out.

3) Free Books are a Thing In South Africa: South African publishers give out review copies. Up until recently I had no idea that was a thing. Being a book blogger, this would have been great to know but hey better late than never. If you’re interested, Kat Silver wrote a really helpful article on requesting review books here

4) Book Blogging is Really Expensive: Domain and hosting, data, buying books, etc. Blogging on it’s own has some sort of expenses (internet connection, camera, etc) but as a book blogger I feel like I absolutely have to have every interesting book that I come across. I don’t just want to have a book for me but my blog needs it too.

5) Not All Books Are Great: You guys! This was a major shock to me. I generally read books I know I’ll like so I pretty much love every book I read. However as a book blogger, I’ve discovered some books that are really bad. It physically pains me because how can a book be bad? Books are my one true love. Just not all books like I once thought.

 

What do you wish you knew before you started blogging (as a book blogger or any other blogger?) I’d love to know.

My Unexpectedly Large November Book Haul

I got fewer books from the SPCA booksale than I usually do:

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So I decided to just check out what Bargain Books had since they had really great books when I visited last month. They didn’t have any of their “3 for R99” books but I did find great bestsellers for R69. It took some time for me to choose (their selection was amazing!) but I finally picked six. I chose “Winter” and “Scarlet” by Marissa Meyer, “Last Sacrifice” by Richelle Mead, “The Duff” by Kody Keplinger, “The Originals: The Resurrection” (this was actually a mistake. I thought I was choosing “The Originals: Rise” but I ended up picking “Resurrection” instead which really hurt my heart) and finally “Let It Snow” which is an anthology I’ve been eyeing for a while. While these books were alot, they were books I really wanted so I was thrilled. I did however have some regret about the books I left behind. Thankfully my mother lent me some money and I was able to buy a few more. This is where things get interesting.

My mother lent me R140, enough for two books. I decided to put some of my own money so I could buy two more. So I chose “Soundless” and “Bloodlines” by Richelle Mead as well as the second and third books in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. During my previous trip to the bookstore I saw that my card wasn’t working but I hoped that this time would be different. I knew for a fact I had money so I had no idea what could possibly cause my card to fail. Anyway, I made my way to the till where the manager greeted me with “Back again for more books?”and I responded with a bright and bubbly “yes.” The lady paying next to me declared “You can never have too many books”. This is a sentiment I usually agree with but as an unemployed person, my book-buying was getting to be a bit problematic. So I told the woman with a laugh, “There is such a thing as too many books when you’re unemployed.”

I paid for my books and hoped for the best as I handed my card over. It failed. Sighing, I asked the cashier to please take out two of the books. “How much are they?” asked the woman who was paying next to me.

Still cheerful on a book-high, I answered “R69 each.” In the back of my mind, I could picture her buying the books for her kids and how happy they would be to get such great books at such low prices. But then she did something I never would have expected anyone to do- she took out a R100 note and placed it on the counter. “No, you don’t have to” came my automatic response to anyone giving me money. My mind still hadn’t processed what was happening.

“Take it,” she insisted firmly. “From one book-lover to another.” She sounded so certain of herself that all I could do was mentally calculate how much more I needed to pay. I handed the remaining amount to the cashier, my mind still reeling. I tried to find the woman to thank her. Did I thank her? I didn’t know. I didn’t remember. It all happened so fast that it seemed like a blur. I looked around me in confusion, trying to find the woman or a camera crew. Who pays for other people’s books? I’ve heard about “paying it forward” but that’s not a book-thing or a South African thing. Was I on TV? Was someone filming me? But no matter how hard I looked I couldn’t find the kind lady or the camera crew. Eventually I decided I must have been having some really odd dream. I dreamt of buying books all the time. Why shouldn’t this be any different? But once I got my change back and got ready to leave the store, the manager remarked “lucky you”. So maybe it wasn’t a dream. “I can’t believe that just happened,” I replied. I spent the rest of the morning trying to figure out exactly how everything happened because it was so mind-blowing. I’ve heard of stories about “paying it forward” but I never ever thought something like this would happen to me.

My Complete Haul

My Complete Haul

 

Have you read any of these books yet? What did you think of them?

Fiction Friday: Five Reasons I Always Carry a Book With Me

I love the Kindle app so much that I have it downloaded on both my tablet and my phone. It’s a super-easy way to always have a book with me and I love always having a book to read. Here are some of the reasons why I always carry a book with me:

5 Reasons Why I Always Carry a Book With Me

 

1) To cure boredom: I love that when I’m bored all I have to do is open the Kindle app and voila, instant entertainment. I have atleast twenty unread books so there’s always something to read.

 

2) To escape into another world: I love being able to escape into a bookish universe whenever it suits me. I can visit Hogwarts on the way home from campus or spend a few minutes in Creepy Hollow while my mum is shopping for groceries.

 

3) To help deal with my stress: I get stressed so easily it’s ridiculous. Reading usually calms me down which is why I always carry my tablet (longer battery life) to campus.

 

4) To get away from social gatherings: Loud crowds of people make me anxious. It’s less noticeable to sneak in a few words every now and then (people always have their phones with them) instead of sitting with an actual paperback (which then prompts the “why are you being so anti-social” conversation?”)

 

5) To make progress with my reviews: One cannot be a book reviewer without reviewing books and one can’t review books without, you know, actually reading the books. Reading on the Kindle app every chance I get allows me to make significant progress on the books I’m supposed to be reviewing.

Do you carry a book every place you go? Do you prefer print books or ebooks?

Bookmail is the Best Mail

I got a wonderful delivery from Pan Macmillan today and I just couldn’t wait to share.

 

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

 

It’s “Heartless” by Marissa Meyer! I’ve been waiting for this book ever since I read the extract included in “Stars Above” (so from sometime in Feb). I’m especially thrilled with the cover which is the exact cover that I had been intending to buy. I can’t wait to start reading this. For those of you who don’t know, “Heartless” tells the story of the Queen of Hearts before she became Queen. Apparently she was an ordinary girl (idk. She’s always seem kinda crazy to me). Marissa Meyer has such incredible writing and even her villains are so human you can’t help but sympathise with them. I’m sure that this is going to be a mind-blowing book.

10 Incredible Books On My Wishlist

I usually read ebooks more often than print. It’s cheaper, I read ebooks faster than print and I can read ebooks literally anywhere. However reading ebooks that are amazing usually means I want a print copy of that book and I end up with a wishlist that is a mile-long. Here are ten amazing reads that I would gladly give up a limb for:

10 Incredible Books on My Wishlist

 

1) With Malice by Eileen Cook: With Malice is such a gripping read. I read an ARC months before the book released and was so impatient for its release. If you read one book this year it should be this one.
2) It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover: I’m a huge fan of Colleen’s work but this was definitely her best work so far. I desperately want a print copy of this book.
3) A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas: I loved this book because it was such a unique spin on the story of Beauty and The Beast. This world-building was also especially good.
UPDATE: I placed an order for this book and well as the sequel and I can’t wait *squeals*
4) Stars Above by Marissa Meyer: I enjoyed my time in the Lunar Chronicles world and this book was a perfect addition to the series. I still have difficulty choosing which story was my favourite (can it be all?)
5) Recoil by Joanne Macgregor: This is a really well-written dystopian fiction and I’m in love with the Irish heart-throb from here.
6) Refuse by Joanne Macgregor: Refuse is like Recoil on steroids. Also there’s far more romance (as well as corruption and secrets. This book makes me giddy. You never know who to trust).
7) A Faerie’s Secret by Rachel Morgan: I actually am more in love with the second part of Rachel Morgan’s Creepy Hollow series than I was with the first. In this series as well, there’s deception and secrets. Obviously that’s my go-to for good fiction.
8) The List by Siobhan Vivian: I wish this book had been part of a series. It was soo good. I once found a paperback copy in a bookstore (for a really high price) and I couldn’t stop fangirling.
9) Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts: okay I have no idea why I’m so obsessed with this series when it’s nothing Nora Roberts hasn’t done before. A group of very different people gather together to fight against an ancient evil. What I really liked here was that it’s clear that these people don’t get along and all have secrets from one another. Not even the reader is told what these secrets are which really adds to the mystery of the characters.
10) The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: this book has everything you didn’t know you wanted from a novel. A mysterious male, a kickass female character and a curse that makes it impossible for the two of them to be together. Also the cover is to die for. Want want want!
What books are on your wishlist? I’d love to know.